The strange, the stranger and the strangest of 2007


It’s time to release Only in L.A.’s “Windows 2007,” a review of the offbeat from the past year:

Two gunmen who stole 3,000 lottery tickets and $400 in cash from an L.A. store made a clean getaway -- but returned to cash in their tickets. They were arrested several days later with the help of state lottery officials and the store’s surveillance camera. The amount of winnings they claimed? $15.

Roger Rozler of San Dimas found it on the back of a septic tank pumper truck (see photo).


Worst case of lotto fever

Best political commentary

Best traffic commentary

In Pomona, Margaret Davis saw a (possibly altered) sign that warned drivers of a stoppage that couldn’t be eased by Metamucil (see photo).

Dumbest alibi

The subject of an arrest warrant, stopped by an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy, said he was resolving his situation. “I was on my way to court,” he explained. One problem: It was 2 in the morning. Well, two problems: It was Sunday.

Sleep of the Union?

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (among others) was observed snoozing during President Bush’s State of the Union speech in January (see photo). The mayor’s nap inspired a caption contest in the Washington Post, whose readers offered such suggestions as “Wake me in 2008” and “Ladies and gentlemen, the gas leak should be repaired shortly.”

Didn’t want to miss those specials

A Desert Sun subscriber who hadn’t received his paper for two days was arrested, Palm Springs police said, after saying he might blow up the Sun building “if he didn’t get his coupons.”

Roll down the window

Kay Hopkins of Palmdale saw a banner for a carwash that will bathe vehicles and their drivers’ necks (see photo).

Maybe this is the dumbest alibi

A man suspected of ushering in 2007 with shotgun blasts told an L.A. cop that he wasn’t “shooting it into the air like everybody else.” What he was doing, he explained, was “just shooting it at the tree, sir.”

Unclear on the concept

Card Cops, a Malibu Internet security company, noticed that some clueless identity thieves overseas were offering to sell the personal data of Herman Munster (the character in “The Munsters” TV series) online, including his address on the show (1313 Mockingbird Lane) and his birth date (Aug. 15, 1964, close to the date the show went on the air). The crooks had apparently obtained the fictional info from pranksters. “These guys don’t watch TV Land,” a Card Cops official pointed out.

Some onramps are still available carried a posting from someone “seeking highly motivated individuals to panhandle in various territories of Los Angeles. . . . Dress and hours flexible. . . . You must be good at math.”

Last call!

AIRe Global Cuisine, a Costa Mesa restaurant that offered a cocktail called “Low Self Esteem,” went out of business.

No, this is definitely the dumbest alibi

A gang member who was stopped by officers while walking down an L.A. street with a handgun visible in his waistband told them that the pants were not his and he hadn’t noticed the gun.

Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at